Sunday, May 08, 2011

Wrap Up of the Kentucky Derby TV Coverage

The Good:

Production Values
: The NBC Sports Production crew shined as the production value was first rate. And if you watched it in HD, it looked even better. If ever a sport was made for High Definition it is Horse Racing.

Broadcast Crew
: On Derby Day Laffit Pincay III and Randy Moss handled the coverage on Versus while Tom Hammond and Gary Stevens took over on NBC. Always love the old pro Tom Hammond but much prefer Randy Moss over Gary Stevens. Randy Moss explains just enough for the casual viewer to understand without dumbing it down for the hardcore fan.

Hours of Coverage
: No complaints here as Versus had the coverage from 11-4 pm, NBC from 4-7 pm and than Versus with post race coverage from 7-7:30 pm. 6 races including the Derby were shown on the 2 channels.

The Bad:

The segments featuring correspondent Maria Menounos: Like any red blooded male I enjoy seeing a short 30 seconds or so interview with Maria interviewing a hot chick, but it got quite campy when throughout the 2 broadcasts they paraded hot chick after hot chick telling us that they are betting on Pants on Fire because she has a female jockey.

The audio on the race call
: The call by Larry Collmus was actually pretty good, that is if you could actually hear it. I only know what he said because I played it over a couple times on the NBC Sports Website. Collmus followed the golden rule of calling every horse in the field and their position by the first turn, he correctly noticed Animal Kingdom's move down the final stretch,called him the winner smoothly right before the line and than quickly called out the 2nd-4th finishers seconds after.

But let's be honest, who really heard the call? Watching live on NBC all I could hear was an annoying echo combination of Collmus and Churchill Tracks announcer Mark Johnson in the background. Try explaining to the casual fan why two announcers are calling the race at the same time with one slightly louder than the other.


Glimmerglass said...

Agreed on almost all observations. Larry is a good caller and he was cut at the legs by NBC Sports not being able to master the sound mix.

That said (1) Mark Johnson's call is far superior, (2) Larry's call of the Woodford and Oaks both were both unmemorable too, (3) NBC and Verses were a bit too slow in showing the results of the races ... I'm used to HRTV/TVG/ESPN calling the top three order at least.

All in all it was a very good effort by NBC and should only get better. I'll commend the Network on having diverse content such as Jimmy Fallon's Derby wrap. "Uncle Mo's been known to scratch" ;>

Anonymous said...

This is why I gave up watching the race live.

Tape it, and watch it while YOU are in control of the broadcast elements.

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